Training this week was sort of light. I made class Monday and Tuesday, but I couldn't train after class that much. Monday JD and I worked for a bit, but not long. And this was after Klint checked our progress by rolling with us for a few minutes each, seeing how we progressed while he was away. I couldn't make practice Thursday because of a school thing, and I lost open mat Friday because a friend was in town and we had a poker game scheduled. Gina was nice enough to invite me to participate in the women's class Saturday morning, though, and a few training partners were being tested for promotion after class Saturday afternoon.
Women's class was completely different from our regular class. First off, it was at 8am on Saturday. Usually, that's prime sleepin' time. But on top of that, they set their soundtrack accordingly. We warmed up to some Salt n Pepa, some Jay-Z "Can I Get A," some N'Sync....Nothing that the Woodbury class would ever listen to. It was a small class--four women, myself, and Gina instructing. We drilled armbars and cross chokes and switches, drilling ten-a-side with partners. After class, we had the mat for some rolling, and I got to work with four of Gina's students. (Gina told her students, "Make sure you take advantage of Chris while he's here." That got a good laugh.) When I was rolling with the women, I realized how far I've developed as a martial artist since I began. All of them are white belts, and they're tough girls. I was able to move smoothly, to keep myself from muscling into and out of everything, and to pay attention to my technique. At the end, T tweaked something in her side and I thought I'd absolutely wrecked her arm. Thankfully, I hadn't and I had (apparently) done nothing wrong. She had killed herself on a kettlebell circuit the day before and her body was starting to revolt, so when she tried to roll out of a kimura, something screamed at her and she kind of flipped. Scary few minutes, but she's all good.
The other thing that happened at women's class is that I almost certainly broke my big toe. It caught on the mat at some point---the toe itself, not just the nail. I taped it up with its neighbor and just moved on. As of right now, it's not really a big deal; I checked with my doctor/former-roommate, and it's not off-center, it isn't cold or purple, and it isn't debilitatingly swollen. But I'll meet with him next weekend for something else, and we'll chat about it then.
Class in Woodbury was good. We worked on peek-outs again and what the correct technique is (which is different from the traditional peek-out that everyone imagines when they think of the technique). So we're working on building new muscle memory for that. At the end, Klint had the four upper belts roll with the four guys he was promoting. So Chris, Tony, Colin and I stood on one side of the room while JD, Andy, John and Kyle lined the other. They went for three or four minutes with each of us, just restarting if anyone tapped. Afterwards, he put them through some technical drills and then presented them with their half-white-half-blue belts (equivalent to 3 or 4 stripes; technically it's their third stripe, but their next promotion is to blue). He told them all that he would be confident putting them all into a blue belt division at a tournament, but he's keeping the standard for promotion high and he wants them to work a little more. I took that as a subtle compliment, even if he didn't mean it that way. Compliment to me, I mean. (This blog is, after all, about me. And even though I'm trying as hard as I can to cut my ego and be a better training partner, I would be lying if I said I was always successful.) I heard it as a compliment because a) that means that he had his standard of promotion pretty high when he gave me my belt, and 2) that I met that standard. Good work, me.
I'm also thinking about how much competition I should think about incorporating into my schedule after the bar exam, what sort of things I can do to be a better partner, whether to start thinking about teaching (even though I'm pretty sure I don't know that much well enough to teach it)---you know, the standards. So now I will study law with the Pan Ams broadcast in the background.